10 Things You Should Know About Pokemon Go

With Smartphones in hand, game players have gotten up off the couch and have taken to the streets to play a new mobile game sensation called Pokemon Go. Are you one of the 21 million daily active users trying to “catch ‘em all”?

People Playing Pokemon Go

Well, just in case this is all new to you or if you have not been caught up in the craze yet, Pokemon Go is an interactive mobile game developed by Niantic, that has instantly become extremely popular in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and now Germany. Niantic is already planning on expanding to many other countries of the world.

The technology being utilized is known as augmented reality, which is a blending of the actual physical world (your neighborhood, landmarks, historical markers, office spaces, restaurants, monuments or other places of interest) with virtual objects (Pokemon Characters). What this means for game players is that as they look at their smartphones the virtual objects are superimposed on the live video of their actual surroundings. This literally is a game changer for the gaming industry.

KEEP SAFE Playing Pokemon Go

The main drawback is that the real world unfortunately can be a very dangerous place. As more people start playing Pokemon Go, it has authorities across the United States concerned about game related traffic accidents and the potential for crimes. Police across the United States, have reported that players are being targeted by criminals as they are wandering about playing the game at all hours of the day and night. Players are being drawn down dark alleys and into high crime areas in the quest to catch Pokemon. With this in mind, it is important for those playing the game to be aware of their surroundings and any suspicious people.

10 Things You Should Know About the Pokemon Go Game

Understanding the Game

  1. How much does it cost? It is FREE to download. So, how does the game’s developer Niantic make money? One way is that the game has “PokéStops” based on real-world locations. Players can spend real money to buy items to lure Pokémon to these “PokéStops”. Pokémon Go is already a huge money maker – $1 Million to over $2 million a day.
  2. There are three basic activities to the Pokémon Go game; catching Pokémon, visiting PokéStops, and Gym Battles.
  3. How do players catch Pokemon? First, players have to get outside of their homes to be able to advance to new levels. As they walk, bike ride or drive around with the app open on their phone it will buzz when pokémon are nearby. When they tap on the pokémon on the live interactive map they are switched to the catching interface. Different Pokemon are discovered at different CP (Combat Power) levels.  Therefore, the goal of a player is to increase the character level, which means they are getting more powerful as a player. As they get stronger, they can continue to encounter higher level pokémon in the “wild”.

    Pokemon Go Tip from Forbes: “If you press and hold the Pokéball, a ring around the Pokémon will start shrinking. When it reaches its smallest circumference, that’s when you should throw, as they are the easiest to capture at that point. Also, the color of the circle matters. Green shouldn’t be a problem, yellow will be tougher, red will be very hard. You eventually get treats you can lob at Pokémon to reduce this level, and make capturing easier. Combine these two tactics, and you should have a better shot at capturing stuff, and later you will unlock more secure types of Pokéballs as well.”

  4. What are PokéStops? These are important places, also called landmarks. Visiting these landmarks aka pokéstops is the primary way of getting items such as pokéballs, potions, revives, and eggs (which can be hatched by walking around and they will hatch even faster when they ride on a bike). Also at pokéstops players can activate lure modules, which increase the likelihood of pokémon appearing there.
  5. Have you heard people talking about Red, Yellow and Blue Teams? Well, once a player reaches level five, they are given the opportunity to choose from one of these three color-coded factions: Red Team Valor, Yellow Team Instinct, and Blue Team Mystic, and have the opportunity to battle other trainers in gyms.
  6. Here are 3 things to know about Gym Battles: First, gyms are in-game locations that are usually attached to a major real-world location that are selected for battling other trainers. Second, Pokémon face off one-on-one until one of the pokémon has fainted. Third, Pokémon can be healed or revived using potions and revives that you can obtain from visiting PokéStops.

There Are Concerns Over The Lack of Respect For the Solemness of Some Public Places

Silence and respect at Alington Cemetery

7) Pokemon Go has sparked controversy due to the presence of characters in locations deemed inappropriate for game playing. According to Fox News, “The characters of the game appeared in somber locations like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery.” The Washington Post reported that the Holocaust Memorial Museum wanted to get their museum removed from the game.

Safety Concerns

8) It has allegedly been used in Missouri in connection with armed robberies. Fox News reported “The O’Fallon Missouri Police Department wrote on Facebook that they believed thieves used the game to lure victims; it made four arrests associated with the crimes, it added on Sunday.” Keep in mind that the game had only been active for three days at that point.

Safety Tip: Those with ill intent can easily place these “lures” with the intent of doing harm to you or your loved ones. Therefore, it would be a good idea to go with your kids as part of a group that are playing Pokemon Go.

9) It was reported that a driver in Los Angeles was so distracted by playing Pokemon Go while driving that he caused a multi-vehicle crash. Safety Tip: Do not play (or allow your teenager drivers to play) Pokemon Go while Driving! The Ohio State Patrol tweeted about the dangers of playing the game while driving: “Please #DontCatchAndDrive! We know you want to catch ’em all, but do so safely!”

10) Drivers need to be aware of those walking and riding their bikes, that are also so preoccupied while playing, that they can just enter roadways not paying attention to cars or other vehicles on the road. The Beachwood, NJ Police Department posted a Facebook status stating that they’ve witnessed people walking into poles and into busy streets while watching their screens for Pokemon to appear.

The team at Erb and Young Insurance want you to keep safe and avoid situations that can put you and your loved ones at risk. That is why we took this opportunity to inform both players and non-playing drivers of safety concerns. Please, feel free to share this blog with your friends and family members.

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